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Agusta choppers: Cong says no evidence against Sonia

Party attacks govt for not relying on findings of the CBI and the ED

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: May 4 2016 5:30PM | Updated Date: May 4 2016 8:07PM

Agusta choppers: Cong says no evidence against Sonia

Congress on Wednesday took a dig at government, terming all allegations made by Centre in the AgustaWestland choppers deal as "distortions of the Italian court judgment" and quoted the judge as saying that there was no evidence against Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Criticising the government, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi questioned how a "mere mention" of anyone in a letter written by middlemen Guido Haschke to a man named Peter Hulet could make him culpable.
Quoting Italian judge, Singhvi said: "The judge who wrote this Italian judgment...the judge spoke extensively to a channel in India."
"He says 'We've no evidence against Sonia Gandhi, only a mention of her in the facts. The translation of the facts were sent to Mr. Michell. Ms Gandhi has been indicated as someone who will fly in the VVIP helicopters. The same place is the mention of (former prime minister) Manmohan Singh'."
Singhvi hit out at the government for not relying on findings of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.
"We are relying on not a single finding by the ED and the CBI, but on interpretations, miscalculations and distortions of the Italian court judgment. This is actually a vote of no-confidence," he said.
He quoted from the letter written by middleman Guido Haschke to Peter Hulet: "Given that Mrs. Gandhi is the driving force behind the helicopter, she will fly no longer with MI8. Mrs. Gandhi and her closest advisors persons should be addressed by the English ambassador. The English ambassador in India is called the High Commissioner. The advisors are listed hereby:"
"The advisors are the Prime Minister, Ahmed Patel, Pranab Mukherjee, M.K. Narayanan, Oscar Fernandes etc.," read the letter.
Clarifying on the letter, Singhvi said: "Does it suggest that 'anybody talked to any of these persons to offer a bribe'?"
"Is it not plain English that they are stating the obvious that people who use and fly on these helicopters are VVIPs and they would not want to fly on outdated machines called MI8."
"On this logic, everybody mentioned in the next paragraph from the current president to several other names are all culpable because they find a mention."